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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, March 20, 2016

We will not be publishing this newsletter next week so that we can celebrate the holidays with our families and friends. We wish all of our readers a Happy Easter.

In this Issue:
Special Feature: IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam
Special Feature: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: Assume Mail from Unknown Senders is Spam
Special Feature: Windows 10: What If I Don’t See The Windows 10 Notification?
Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Detect and Repair Disk Errors
Special Feature: Free Up Space on Your IPhone
Websites of Interest: Palm Sunday; Easter; Purim; March 20 is the International Day of Happiness


Special Feature: IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

From irs.gov
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

“This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country. We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves. Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.” Werfel noted that the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail.

Learn more here:


Special Feature: Top 25 Most Popular Anti-Spam Tips, Tricks and Secrets: Assume Mail from Unknown Senders is Spam

Spam, spam and spam. How to avoid spam, how to filter spam, and how to complain about spam are the items on this menu of junk mail fighting tips. With the help of Heinz Tschabitscher of about.com, we are presenting an ongoing series of tips and tricks that you can use to minimize the amount of junk mail that you will receive in your email inbox.

People who know you do not spam you. They may terrorize you, but they never spam you. Usually, these people are in your email client's address book.

If they are not there yet, you should probably add them, because such an address book of everyone you know can be a helpful tool to identify spam.

If you do not usually receive mail from strangers, you can assume that

* every message not from somebody in your address book is spam and
* filter such messages to the Junk Mail folder.

Now and then, you should check this folder for important messages you may have missed, maybe because somebody's email address has changed.

Building on this idea of only allowing known senders, challenge/response spam filters render your email virtually spam free with very little to no maintenance.

In our next edition: Whether or Not to Unsubscribe from Spam


Special Feature: Windows 10: What If I Don’t See The Windows 10 Notification?

From gcflearnfree.org
Windows 10 is the latest version of Microsoft's operating system for PCs and tablets. It was released July 29, 2015.

Unlike previous versions of the Windows operating system, Windows 10 is available as a free upgrade, as long as you have Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. This free upgrade offer will expire after one year, ending sometime in August 2016. For those who don't get Windows 10 during this time, it will be available for purchase.

If you're using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you'll should see a notification about the Windows 10 upgrade in the lower-right corner of the desktop. Check out Microsoft's page on How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for more detailed instructions.

If you don't see this notification, it means you need to download to the most recent update for your operating system.

For Windows 7 users, the most recent update is Service Pack 1, which can be found here:

For Windows 8 users, the most recent update and instructions can be found here:

In our next newsletter: Windows 10 Features


Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Detect and Repair Disk Errors

As your Windows computer ages, its speed can decrease. You will notice an increase in response time when you give commands to open programs, files or folders, use the Internet and other tasks. There are several things you can do to speed up your computer.

In our ongoing series, Speed Up a Slow Computer, we will present articles discussing some of the steps you can take to speed up your slow computer.

Important: Before making any changes to your system, always create a Restore Point. If anything goes wrong with the changes you make, this will allow you to revert back to a point when the computer was operating correctly. Please visit our Newsletter Archives to read our article, All About Restore Points:

Detect and Repair Disk Errors

As a computer gets older, parts of the hard drive can begin to develop errors. Disk usage and improper shutdowns can cause what are called bad sectors. This kind of error takes up disk space and can lead to slow performance.

Windows includes a tool called CheckDisk or Disk Checker (depending on your version of Windows). It searches the disk for errors and bad sectors and attempts to fix them. To use CheckDisk, follow these steps:

Open My Computer or Computer. My Computer is found in Windows XP and Computer is found in Vista and 7. Look for the icon on the desktop or in the item in the Start menu.

Right click on the C: drive. Click Properties in the resulting menu.

Click the Tools tab at the top.

Click the Check Now button.

Click to select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box and click Start.

This will check the hard disk and, if possible, repair any errors it finds.


In our next edition, Speed Up a Slow Computer – CCleaner


Special Feature: Free Up Space on Your IPhone

First, find out what’s taking up the most space on your phone. Open to the Settings app, then go to General > Usage > Manage Storage or General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage (depending on your version of iOS).

You’ll see all your apps in order of the amount of space they’re taking up on your phone. For those apps that you don’t use enough to justify, delete.


It’s probably no surprise that photos tend to take up a lot of space. Take a look at your photos and decide if you really need all the extras. To delete the ones you don’t want, tap Select and then tap all the photos you no longer want. Tap the little garbage can icon at the bottom and then tap Delete Photos.

You can also enable automatic uploading to Dropbox. Get the Dropbox app and either create an account or sign in if you already have an account. Then select “enable camera upload.” Moving forward all your photos will back up in your Dropbox account as long as you keep the app on your phone.

You can access Dropbox on your computer, too, and back up all your photos to a folder or external storage.

Do You Take Photos In HDR?

If you don’t, I highly recommend it. This feature allows you to take better quality photos (HDR = high dynamic range). Just be aware that your iPhone is automatically set to save both versions of the photo (a normal one and a HDR one). To change this, go to Settings > Photos & Camera and deselect ‘Keep Normal Photo’.

Delete Old Text Messages

Your text messages are auto set to never delete. To change this go to Settings > Messages. Under Keep Message, select 30 days or 1 year.

Delete Apps You Don't Need

There are likely to be apps you got and only used once, or have replaced with something better. Delete them.

To delete an app from the Home screen, tap and hold on its icon and wait for it (and the other icons too) to start jiggling about - this means you're in Edit Mode. Then tap on the X in the left corner to delete the app. (Edit Mode also allows you to drag app icons into new positions on the screen.)

Note: Some apps – the ones that come preinstalled on your phone – cannot be deleted.

Clear Your Browser History

Browser history likely isn’t a main culprit of iPhone space, but you may be surprised how much it takes up. Go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data.

Remove eBooks You Aren't Reading

Do you have any eBooks in your Kindle or iBooks app that you finished reading? If you delete them they will still be available in the cloud to download again, so save yourself a few MB by removing the book from your phone.


Websites of Interest:

Palm Sunday
Today is Palm Sunday, the sixth and last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week. To learn more, take a look at this website:

Visit this website for information about the religious traditions and history of Easter.

Easter brunch, dinner and desert ideas and recipes

Purim begins in the evening of Wednesday, March 23 and ends in the evening of Thursday, March 24. Here is the story of Purim.

March 20 is the International Day of Happiness